The future of cable cutting, getting rid of expensive cable or satellite television service in favor or more economical web subscriptions, is murky. Currently users need to choose between competing libraries on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and other big-name streamers, or negate some of the savings of cable cutting by subscribing to multiple services. Some newer offerings like SlingTV and PlayStation Vue are bridging the gap, and it looks like Google wants to join them, according to the latest report from the Wall Street Journal. Read More
A list of things that you’d like to watch in the future isn’t exactly breaking new ground for streaming video services – hell, Netflix was doing that back when they were just a mail-order DVD rental company. But the software engineers at Hulu think they’ve significantly improved on the idea with the new Watch List (capital W), which is apparently cool enough to warrant both an intro video and a press release. Read More
YouTube Music, the app built specifically for the YouTube Red music subscription service, is still somewhat in its infancy. There's plenty of room for improvement, and version 1.16 adds a couple of small but notable changes to better the listening experience. First, the standard Watch page (the one with the actual video on it) now has a "More from..." button, with the ellipses replaced with the relevant artist for each video. It allows users to find more music from that specific artist. Makes sense. To see the button you may need to expand the viewer in portrait mode. Read More
Well you can't say they didn't give it a good try. After years of attempting to break into the lucrative tablet market with its own semi-exclusive platform, US bookseller Barnes & Noble plans to halt digital sales on its app and video stores. Diginomica reports that the company will stop sales on March 15th (Tuesday), and that customers who've bought content from either location have until then to download their apps and videos one last time. Connecting Nook Video content to accounts for either Disney Movies Anywhere or CinemaNow will allow customers to retain streaming and download rights on other platforms. Read More
The writing isn't quite on the wall for traditional cable and satellite television - not so long as companies like Comcast can manipulate the market with artificial monopolies and data caps, anyway - but things are definitely looking up for cord-cutters. The latest fruit of the union between American telecom AT&T and satellite TV giant DirecTV is a series of TV packages that don't require, well, TV packages. These data-only streaming options will become available some time in the fourth quarter of 2016, according to an AT&T press release.
Said packages will come in three flavors. First, DirecTV Now, an all-digital streaming TV service that will offer "much of what is available from DirecTV today," including on-demand programming and premium networks. Read More
The adoption of Chromecast as a de facto streaming standard was rapid, helped in no small part by the fact that it was the cheapest streaming gadget on the market which was immediately compatible with both major mobile phone systems. But not everyone leaps to support new tech, and old media giants like the National Broadcasting Company have never been accused of being nimble. So it took NBC the better part of three years to support Google's streaming standard, so what - it's not like they're a multi-million dollar entertainment company backed by an international supercorp.
Oh wait, they are.
The Chromecast support in NBC's official network app doesn't come with any other notable changes, though video streaming appears to work with all of the live and pre-recorded video within. Read More
We usually refer to Spotify as a streaming music provider, but the terminology will have to change this week. According to the Wall Street Journal, Spotify is set to add video content to the Android app in a few days, followed by iOS late next week. This was first announced in May of 2015, but the launch was pushed back as the company tested and gathered feedback. Read More
If you're a good little brow-beaten NFL fan like me, then watching all of the playoff games is a penance. Each of the major networks gets its own game every weekend, and they're all desperately trying to avoid the moment when they're contractually obligated to tell you about the games on the other channels. And in the case of CBS, they mention the fact that they have both the Super Bowl and the Grammy's every twenty seconds, because apparently they think the same people who will watch a bloated, drawn-out spectacle full of egos and corporate sponsorship will also watch a music awards show. Read More
Netflix is one of those American services that people in other countries are intensely jealous of if they can't get it. And with such a wide variety of TV shows (and at least a few dozen movies, too) for a few bucks a month, who could blame them? But now that Netlfix has expanded to literally hundreds of new countries and territories, there's no need to look longingly at the US anymore... or to use any of the elaborate web proxy workarounds to get access to the service outside of supported areas.
Now that Netflix has made its big international push, they're working on cutting down on that proxy use. Read More